Am I Going To Hell?

November 17, 2007

On the way home from our retreat two weeks ago, my friends and I were discussing the Bible.  I laughingly brought up that, according to the Bible, J and I are going to hell because I’m his third wife.  I expected my friends to laugh along, or provide some sort of moral support, but instead I was answered by several minutes of silence. 

I’ve known for years that there are several places in the Bible that state that divorced people, and those that marry divorcees are adulterers, and are going to hell.  I’ve heard sermons on this, and discussed it with people before, but the reaction I got from my friends this time was different, and caused me to really begin to wonder.  I’ve sometimes said rude, crude or generally offensive things to or about people, and thought “I’m going to hell for saying that”, but I’ve never pondered eternity in hell relative to my choice of a spouse.  In the weeks since our road trip conversation, I have been thinking about it alot. 

Questions pop into my head out of nowhere.  If I’m going to go to hell anyway, for something that I can’t undo at this point, should I even bother with being a good Christian?    Why not just go about my life committing even more, and more sinister sinful acts?  Should the children of my church be taught Bible lessons by a person who is bound for hell?  Are my kids going to hell because they were concieved by two adulterers? 

Yesterday I did some internet research on the subject.  Although I didn’t spend alot of time searching, everything I found pointed to the fact that I am indeed on track for a one-way ticket to the firey pit.  (ok, not everything I found,  about 50% of my matches were about Paul Mcartney and Heather Mills).   

The site I found the most disturbing was this one.  It’s long, and if you don’t want to read it all, at least read the last paragraph.  It sickens me.  If the Lord punishes me for being someone’s third wife, I can and must, accept that.  I married willingly at age 23.  I was old enough to make my decision, and I would do it all over again.  I chose my path, and will pay the price if necessary.  However, I can not fathom how anyone can believe that, “all the unborn children who die in the womb or during delivery, the SIDS children, all the children who die before they reach the age at which they can understand Jesus, the mentally retarded who don’t have the capacity to know Jesus, and all those third world residents the missionaries never reached with the good news of our Lord”, are going to hell because they didn’t have the opportunity or ablity to know any better is beyond my comprehension.   

The fact that this man is a leader of a congregation of 125,000 not only scares me, but doesn’t bode well for Christianity in general.  I’m sure that if all the hell-bound members ceased tithing to this church, their website could no longer boast a “$750 Million dollar budget”.   With 10% more spending money a seriel bride could save up for her next white wedding gown, a sex addict could buy pornography or prostitutes, and a drinker could purchase more alcohol.   Take out all the adulterers, divorcees, those married to a divorcee, those that have had sexual thoughts about someone other than their spouse, those that had pre-maritial sex, drinkers, sodomites, and anyone who is themselves or whose ancestors are the product of anything but a first marriage, and I’m sure that this mega-church, as well as most others, would be a very desolate, not to mention financially challenged institution.  If the pastor of my church convinced us they we were going to hell, because our great-great-great-great-great grandfather was the product of a second marriage, would there be a point in going to church?  Removing the divorcees alone would drop membership by at least 50%.  Our Sunday’s could be spent doing whatever we want, and we would have an extra 10% in our wallets to do so.   The church would eventually cease to exist. 

Perhaps I have discovered why my friends were so quiet that day.  Among the four of them, one has a brother on his second marriage, one has a daughter that is married to a divorced man, and the father of the other two is on his second marriage, of which they are a product.  The rest of our congregation is composed of several people with ex-spouses, and 2 of our last 3 pastors were on their second marriages also.   Maybe my attempt at a humorus comment hit a little too close to home for all of us.

I like to think that I’m a good person, not perfect, but I try to always do the right thing.  I have been taught that God is loving, and I don’t believe he will condem me to a afterlife in hell becuse I love someone that didn’t get it right on the first, or even the second time.  The God I know would not punish babies, or the mentally challenged, because they never had the capacity to come to know Jesus.   

I am going to continue to be as good a Christian as I can because I don’t believe that the fate of myself, my friends, and my family members past and present is sealed and we can only, “pray that Satan takes it easy on them (us) in the hereafter.”  If I have to pay for having a happy, committed marriage, with eternity in hell, I know that I’ll have some good company. 

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29 Responses to “Am I Going To Hell?”

  1. inspiredword Says:

    The only reason any one will go the hell will be for rejecting Jesus Christ as saviour. Jesus did not come to condem the world, but the world through Him might be saved. Please read John 3 verses 15 to 19. There is no where in the bible that states the divorce people will go to hell neither does it guarantee married people to go to heaven. The condition is clear in scripture ‘That whosover beliveth in Him should not perish but have eternal life’. Whosoever means whosover. John 3 verse 15.
    The lord is able to give new beginings so dont worry about the past, this is why He came to pay the price for us.

    On a more serious note,hell is real,and you dont want to go there. I recommend you check out my blog and go to salvation, where it clearly states the simple steps you need to take. My blog can be found at http://inspiredword.wordpress.com/. Alternatively you can check out
    http://www.billygraham.org/SH_StepsToPeace.asp

    I also recommed you get a copy the book 23 minutes in hell. Bill Wiese had a real experience in hell. More info can be found at

    http://spiritlessons.com/Documents/BillWiese_23MinutesInHell_Text.htm

  2. Reynvaan Says:

    I would just like to let you know that landoverbaptist.org, the site you referenced, is actually a parody site. There is no actual Landover Baptist Church. It’s intent is to point out the hypocrisy, cruelty, and elitist snobbery of fundamentalist evangelical Christianity. Anything you read there, read it knowing that it’s meant to be sarcastic.

    As for hell, I’d say you’ve got the right idea. There’s no way an all-loving God would send someone to hell for eternity, especially for something like marrying someone who had a wife before you.

  3. David Says:

    I see so many Christians struggling with this “fear factor” in their faith. Many churches emphasize the seemingly negative and skip over the redeeming God given grace extolled by many fellow believers. Jesus did not come too bring darkness but rather, to bring light too the world. I think the church has done a real dis-service to humanity by causing its followers to wrestle with such troubling thoughts. Thank God my Faith does not believe in Hell or eternal condemnation.

  4. Brian Says:

    I don’t put much stock in any theology that puts more emphasis on punishment than grace. God knows we make (and are going to make) mistakes, but He loves us anyway.

    I have had to deal with this type of spiritual dilemma for a long time. In the eyes of many religious people, I can choose a life of celibacy or an eternity in hell. I chose love in the here and now, and I hope I don’t have to pay for it in the hereafter.

    If God is going to send you to hell, I don’t think there’s much of a chance for anyone else to make it to heaven. You are one of the most self-less, loving, and Christ-like people that I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting.

  5. Paul B. Says:

    For the sake of being outspoken I will say that the bible was written in an era when the Church imposed its will through fear and not reason.

    If you are going to hell for marrying a man on his third marriage.. then Elizabeth Taylor will likely be greeting you at the door and Pamela Anderson serving you drinks.

    I don’t think you have much to worry about.

  6. Neil Says:

    “There’s no way an all-loving God would send someone to hell for eternity . . .”

    Actually, He would do that and He will. But a third marriage isn’t the reason.

    We are all sinners in need of a Saviour. Your default destination is Hell, but if you trust in what Jesus did for you then you’ll be saved.

    We don’t get to Heaven because of our good deeds. It is 100% by God’s grace and 100% by faith in Jesus. People don’t like to hear that, because it means they haven’t done anything to earn it. But it is actually good news!

  7. Neil Says:

    P.S. I am so sorry that ignorant Christians told you that your marriage situation would send you to Hell. Again, we all sin in many ways, but God loves to forgive.

    Jesus forgave the Samaritan woman who had 5 husbands was living with a man. Please see the 4th chapter of the Gospel of John and be encouraged!

  8. inspiredword Says:

    No body goes to hell because they are divorced, neither do they go to heaven because they are married.

    The condtion is clear in scripture ‘John 3 verse 15. ‘Whosoever believes in Him (Jesus Christ) should not perish but have eternal life.

    Hell is very very real and no one wants to go there.

    I recommend the book a real experience ’23 minutes in hell by Bill Wiese’
    http://spiritlessons.com/Documents/BillWiese_23MinutesInHell_Text.htm

    Steps to salvation can be found at
    http://www.billygraham.org/SH_StepsToPeace.asp

  9. Red Says:

    Then I’ll be in hell with ya!

  10. Alyson Says:

    @ inspiredword: Thanks for the encouraging comments. I base my faith on John 3:16 too, which is why I don’t believe I, along with my descendents, will burn. I’ll check out the links.

    @ Reynvaan: Thank you for pointing out the validity of the site. It’s very convincing, glad it’s not real.

    @ David: I’m glad my religion doesn’t emphasize the “fear factor”. All the information I’ve gathered on the subject I found on my own, and from the website I found, even if it is fake, I can see why people would turn their backs on Christianity.

    @ Brian: I’m touched by your last sentence, and I feel undeserving of such praise. I am so glad you choose to live in the here and now! I can’t imagine life without you.

    @ Paul: I can always count on you for a laugh. I’m picturing Liz Taylor the door greeter, like the old people at Wal-Mart.

    @ Neil: I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for your comments. I will have to re-read that story.

    @ Red: If it’s true, hell’s going to be crowded.

  11. cowgalutah Says:

    Life as a Mormon is a little different…divorcees don’t have an automatic ticket to the fires of hell. But we believe in a heaven that has (for basic language sake) 3 levels…good people, better people, and the best people as well as hell. We believe that you have to be married in the temple (something that I myself have not done) for time and all eternity, not just the bond that is made by a civil wedding. So as I see it…your still a good person and (as your other information told you) if the missionaries from the LDS church have not given you the opportunity…you have the chose after death to change and be saved!
    So long story short…just keep on the right track…you can only be so perfect, we are after all human.

  12. alyson Says:

    Thanks. That’s all we can do is try to do the best we can.

  13. Liz Says:

    Alyson,
    I am glad you didn’t delete this post.
    I have struggled myself with this question. Although I have not remarried I long for a day when I find someone who I can share the rest of my life with…someone to love.

    I find it hard to believe that Christ would condemn us for loving someone. I am talking about TRUE love & not the lustful kind.

    I don’t know the verse, but when Jesus was question about a woman, who was wife to a set of brothers, & that asked in heaven who’s wife would she be. Jesus said well, basically that in heaven that it wouldn’t matter.
    That leads to thousands of other questions, but I guess that’s another blog topic 😉

    About a yr ago, Brian’s mother & I were having a deep discussion about whether it was a sin for us to remarry & a preach stopped at our table & he had NO idea what we had been talking about, & after talking alittle, he made a statement that took us both by surprise. He said why would a God who wanted us to be happy children of God want us to live a life without happiness. True happiness is a gift of God. The loving God I know wouldn’t want us to be miserable…but Satan would. Oh, well….

    As for your comment about going to hell…I hope that most people who read this KNOWS that it wasn’t a desire to go to hell…but a echo of what has been drilled in our minds that hell is the only oppostion for us unperfect people.

    I thank GOD that He is a merciful God!!!!

    Love Ya, Liz

  14. Alyson Says:

    Thanks for the encouraging words. I think most of us, and most pastors, believe that Christ wants us to be happy and serve him.

    The minister that married J and I was divorced and remarried, which is encouraging.

  15. scrabblenut Says:

    I am visiting your blog after you commented on mine. I just wanted to throw in my two cents here. You’ve had a lot of good comments on this one. I particularly like what Neil had to say. I’d like to add that nowhere in the Bible does it say that divorced people are going to hell – no more than it says that people who break the speed limit are going to hell.

    What it says is that we ALL sin and ALL of us SHOULD be going to hell. Not one of us is good enough to get to heaven. That is why we need Jesus. He came to be the sacrifice, to pay the price for all our sins. If we believe in Him, trust HIM to forgive us for al the wrong that we do, then we don’t have worry that every minor infraction is a one way ticket to the fiery place.

  16. cowgalutah Says:

    wow…that is a great point.

  17. Alyson Says:

    @ scrabblenut: Thanks for visiting. I love your blog! I’m pretty much over this whole thing now, thanks in part to everyone’s positive comments. What really inspried this entry was the article that I referenced, which I later found out was bogus.

    Thanks again for the kind words all.


  18. Landover Baptist Church is a parody site. It’s not an actual church! I fell for this myself and a friend pointed out that fact that it’s not a true church.

  19. Alyson Says:

    I found that out myself the hard way too. I wrote a disclaimer post right after this one, but I forgot that people who just find this post through a search engine don’t see the next post. It’s very decieving.

  20. Joshua Says:

    I have a question then, if divorce and remarriage is a sin but forgivable by God’s grace what makes homosexuals that believe in Christ and his sacrifice any different?

  21. Alyson Says:

    I know several homosexual people, and they are among the kindest, most Christ-like people I know, and I do not think they are going to hell any more for their orientation than I am for marrying a divorcee’. However, I know there are people who would disagree, on both counts.

  22. Joshua Says:

    That is my confusion about divorce and remarriage, a sin is a sin. But is the act of remarriage a constant state of being in sin or is it a sin you ask for forgiveness for and then God blesses the new marriage? Because I cannot find anywhere in the bible where God approves of remarriage but specifically says both the new husband and wife are both commiting adultry, so are they commiting adultry just the first time or each time they are together?

  23. Neil Says:

    I am not a great expert but my understanding is that a sinful divorce / remarriage is a one-time sin (albeit one with significant and probably long-term consequences). But it isn’t the unforgivable sin, and you don’t fix the sin by getting another divorce.

    In the same way, people struggling with sexual orientation issues wouldn’t be Hell-bound if their trust was in Christ. But if they are authentic followers of Jesus they probably won’t be shaking their fist at him and insisting that He bless their homosexual behavior.

  24. Alyson Says:

    @ Joshua: You raise some really good points. I’ve never really thought about what happens after the “sin”. You’ve given me something to ponder, and maybe ask my pastor about.

    @ Neil: I had wondered about that too. How could I “fix” my sin in any way, without becoming a bigger sinner?

    We are all, regardless of our consequences, blessed to know Christ.

  25. Sher Says:

    God’s perfect will is for us to marry one woman/man but he allowed for divorce because of the hardness or heart. He forgives and his love and grace endureth forever. But there are consequences for every sin. What you sow you will reap, that goes for believers and nonbelievers. The people who suffer the most in divorce are the children. That’s why we should seek every resource possible to reconcile the marriage. God is in the business of restoring, healing the broken, forgiving, etc. There is nothing impossible when we seek HIM.

  26. Melanie Stefine Says:

    In the Spring of 2006 God sent a message. The message is about the meaning of First is Last and Last is First. The message is this:
    In the morning I go to Heaven. In the afternoon I live my life. In the evening I die, death.

    What does this mean? It means that Birth is Last and Last is Birth. God also gives an example so
    that you can understand this better. Example: Mike Douglas died on his birthday. (Note: Mike Douglas and Michael Douglas are two different people.)

  27. Melanie Stefine Says:

    In 2007 God had this to say:
    We each die in succession, then we are born on the same day.

  28. Melanie Stefine Says:

    God also disagrees with Inspired Words statement above:

    The condition is clear in scripture ‘That whosover beliveth in Him should not perish but have eternal life’. Whosoever means whosover. John 3 verse 15.

    This was written in the Bible my the Romans under Constantine. These are not the words of Jesus or God. Why would just believing in Jesus get you into Heaven? The Romans are working on your superstitious beliefs to gain power. Don’t tell me the Church does not have power.

    God also said that Good Atheists go to Heaven and bad Christians can go to Hell. That is the word of God. Those that believe in what the Romans wrote have been deceived. Many have been deceived. Yet, God does not condemn you for that. God said the he loves the Pope, even though the Pope thinks the bible is the word of God, he still goes to Heaven. The Pope goes to Heaven for his deads and not for his beliefs.

  29. Billl Says:

    I am a ‘born again’ Christian who did a wilful sin as in Hebrews 10:26 my lady lodger seduced me – I did not resist very well. The sin ran away for 3 half moths – then I crossed a line which I was told not too – It was probably a wilful insolent sin. I tired to find away out though looking at other Bible passages but I don’t seem to be able to. I am absolutely terrified. I am 56 years old – a believer all my life and I cannot believe it has happened to me! I may lose everything I hopped for because I didn’t take enough care. Bill


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